New Hope Church Cemetery
"The Hell Hole"
— Atlanta Campaign Heritage Trail —
Three days earlier Union Major General William T. Sherman began moving his armies toward Dallas and away from their Western and Atlantic Railroad supply line. Sherman's intent was to march around the “left flank” of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's army. General Hooker's corps was the first sizeable Federal unit to approach the New Hope crossroads. Sherman ordered Hooker to attack, believing only light enemy resistance opposed them. But the Confederates had also moved quickly to the New Hope crossroads and were well prepared.
The Alabama brigade of Confederate Brigadier General Henry D. Clayton was positioned to the east of Colonel Johnson's. Clayton used log and dirt
General Hooker's men attacked in columns, each division presenting only a one-brigade front. The dense woods and tangled underbrush cut by deep ditches made their attack very difficult. Federal troops nicknamed this area "The Hell Hole.” As their columns advanced Brigadier General Alpheus S. Williams ordered his division to the double quick, followed by Brigadier General John W. Geary's division. Finally, Major General Daniel Butterfield's division attacked the right of the Confederate line. As each brigade neared the foot of a slope at a trot the full force of Confederate fire greeted them. The Federals lost over 1,500 men; the Confederates fewer than 500.
A blinding summer thunderstorm struck at about 7:30 pm as the battle neared its end, compounding the misery of the wounded that lay on the field. Many unknown soldiers were buried here, both North and South. Confederate Private SamWatkins later noted, “The trees look as if they had been cut down for new ground, being mutilated and shivered by musket and cannon balls. Horses were writhing in their death agony and the sickening odor of battle filled the air."
The Battle of New
Hope Church was the
first of three major battles
in close proximity to one
another over a four-day
period. The Federals
attacked again two days
later, on May 27th at
Pickett's Mill, in an
attempt to turn the
Confederates right flank.
Erected by Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails, Inc. (Marker Number 20.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial Sites • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Georgia Civil War Trails series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 25, 1864.
Location. 33° 57.469′ N, 84° 47.43′ W. Marker is near Dallas, Georgia, in Paulding County. Marker is at the intersection of Chester Harris Drive and Dallas Acworth Highway (Georgia Route 381), on the right when traveling west on Chester Harris Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Chester Harris Drive, Dallas GA 30132, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Worst Aircraft Disaster in Georgia History (here, next to this marker); New Hope Battlefield (within shouting distance
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 125 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.